WEEKEND READS

Keeping the gears going, staying open to new ideas, finding common experiential threads in humanity, enriching one's travels or traveling without leaving home; the reasons we read are many. Here are the books our faculty and staff are reading right now.

 
 
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Tiny Homes on THE MOVE, WHEELS AND WATER

Lloyd Kahn

Home sweet home is explored with a high-spirited fist pump as Lloyd Kahn takes us into the homes of creative thinkers and adventure seekers. Unbridled by the notion that a home should look a certain way, these modern nomads challenge us to see other ways of living.

Who's reading this? Gabriel Cohen

 
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Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Yuval Noah Harari

In the past century, humans have curbed war, famine and plague. But, for the first time, humans are now dying from eating too much instead of too little, more people die from old age than from infectious diseases and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers?

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies

 
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FINDING FIBONACCI: THE quest to rediscover the forgotten mathematical genius who changed the world

Keith Devlin

Fibonacci, a medieval mathematician, helped to revive the West as the cradle of science, technology, and commerce, yet he vanished from the pages of history. Keith Devlin, a Yale professor, takes us on his 10-year quest to find this lost Italian thinker, with the highs and lows, lucky chances, chance encounters and breakthroughs he finds along the way.

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies

 
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WHAT A PLANT KNOWS: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE SENSES

DANIEL CHAMOVITZ

Can an orchid feel jet lagged? Does a tomato plant feel pain when you pluck fruit from its vines? And does your fern at home care whether you play Bach or the Beatles? Combining research with lively storytelling, biologist Daniel Chamovitz explores how plants experience our shared Earth – through sight, smell, touch, hearing, memory, and even awareness.

Who's reading this? Gabriel Cohen

 
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THE HIDDEN HALF OF NATURE: THE MICROBIAL ROOTS OF LIFE AND HEALTH

David R. Montgomery

Plant roots. Your gut. These two seemingly unrelated networks have one very crucial thing in common: an armada of bacteria that's absolutely essential for health. But when this bacteria (or gut microbiome) goes awry, our health can go with it. This revelation leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: by cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature outlines how we can evolve agriculture and healing— by merging ecology, gardening and medicine. 

Who's reading this? Kyle Walenga

 
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AFFLUENCE WITHOUT ABUNDANCE: THE DISAPPEARING WORLD OF THE BUSHMEN

JAMES SUZMAN

Affluence Without Abundance is not simply a description of Bushman life. Mr Suzman deftly weaves his experiences and observations with lessons on human evolution, the history of human migration and the fate of African communities since the arrival of Europeans. The overarching aim of the book is more ambitious still: to challenge the reader's ideas about both hunter-gatherer life and human nature.” –The Economist

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies

 
 
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SHOP CLASS AS SOULCRAFT

matthew crawdford

"Matthew Crawford was on what most people would think was the "right track." Then he left his job as executive director at a think tank in Washington to open a motorcycle repair shop. In his new book, Shop Class as Soulcraft, he makes the case that our society has placed too great a value on white-collar work and not enough value on the trades." –NPR

Who's reading this? Gabriel Cohen

 
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The great american orchestra: finding the origins of music in the world's wild places

bernie krause

“Krause has become one of the world’s most outspoken—and unusual—environmentalists….This book movingly conveys his anger at the unseen toll that human-generated noise has exacted on the natural world—and why that matters.”—Paul Mitchinson, Washington Post

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies

 
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The life of the mind

Hannah ARENDT

“This book may sound forbidding, but do not be dissuaded, for it is a majestic work of deep humility and earnestness, and radiant imagination... Taking as her subject the three principal activities of mind, Thinking, Willing, Judging (having examined the practical life of Labor, Work, and Action in The Human Condition), she draws with studious care and far-reaching erudition from the history of ideas to argue the necessity of Thinking and to chart the rise and fall of Willing in Western culture.”—Kirkus Review

Who's reading this? Claudio Salusso

 
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VOICES OF THE WILD

BERNIE KRAUSE

“Since 1968, Bernie Krause has traveled the world recording the sounds of remote landscapes, endangered habitats, and rare animal species.  Through his organization, Wild Sanctuary, he has collected the soundscapes of more than 2,000 different habitat types, marine and terrestrial. With powerful illustrations and compelling stories, Krause provides a manifesto for the appreciation and protection of natural soundscapes.”—Yale University Press

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies

 
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SELECTED POEMS 1988-2013

BERNIE KRAUSE

Seamus Heaney exemplifies 'close-up' poetry, as British literary critic John Carey describes it: "Close up to thought, to the world, to the emotions... [Heaney] can make us understand that the outside world is not outside, but what we are made of." Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past." Of poetry, Heaney credited it with "the power to persuade the vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it, the power to remind us that we are hunters and gatherers of values."

Who's reading this? Claudio Salusso

 
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GRAPEFRUIT

YOKO ONO

This crisp, distilled little book of poetry inspired John Lennon to write Imagine. With lines such as, "Imagine the clouds dripping. Dig a hole in your garden to put them in," and "Listen to a heart beat," we might be reminded that now is the time to reread this joyful and defiant gem.

Who's reading this? Alexis Cohen

 
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THE BLUE ZONES: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest

DAN BUETTNER

"The people who live in the Blue Zones — five regions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world — move their bodies a lot. They have social circles that reinforce healthy behaviors. They take time to de-stress. They're part of communities, often religious ones. And they're committed to their families." —NPR

Who's reading this? Liam Whelan

 
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THE HEARING tRUMPET

LEONORA CARRINGTON

"The Hearing Trumpet is a genuinely strange work of fiction; it’s also charming, due in no small part to Marian’s unflappability and matter-of-fact narration. The characters undergo mysterious transformations, encounter figures out of mythology, and converse with aspects of the natural world, but the tone remains unflappable. Nonchalance in the face of the weird is a hallmark of Carrington’s fiction." —The Paris Review

Who's reading this? Lucas DeGuilio

 
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THE OLD WAYS

GARY SNYDER

"Ecology and the tribal community, the need for humankind to relearn intimate connection with a particular place and soil, are the essential themes of his essays in The Old Ways, collected in 1972... A knowledge of place contributes to knowledge of self, for the self is composite. 'Part of you is out there waiting to come into you, and another part of you is behind you, and the 'just this' of the ever-present moment holds all the transitory little selves in its mirror.' Such is the wisdom of peoples who have learned to keep within their ecological limits." —David Burner, Making Peace with the Sixties (Princeton University Press, 1996)

Who's reading this? Lucas DeGuilio

 
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THE GENIUS MYTH

MICHAEL MEADE

"Each person born participates in the genius of life and the world at this time is in great need of an awakening of genius qualities hidden within each of us. In a rapidly changing world faced with seemingly impossible problems, it becomes important to understand that each person has something to contribute. Both timely and timeless, this book combines dramatic real life experiences with compelling mythic tales and a profound exploration of the wisdom of genius, and is essential for anyone who seeks to awaken their own genius and learn how to heal nature and renew culture."  —Mosiac Voices

Who's reading this? Alexis Cohen

 
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WHO'S IN CHARGE? FREE WILL AND THE SCiENCE OF THE BRAIN

MICHAEL S. GAZZANIGA

"Recent research in neuroscience suggests that much of what we do is hard wired.It’s tempting to believe that further research will eventually demonstrate that physical properties of the brain fully control the human mind. But neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga argues we already have enough data to conclude that human behavior is not fully predetermined. He claims that a sense of responsibility, for instance, derives not from within a single brain, but from social interaction." —Diane Rehm

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies

 
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tHE ENLIGHTENED GENE: BIOLOGY, BUDDHISM AND THE CONVERGENCE THAT EXPLAINS THE WORLD

ARRI EISEN & YUNGDRUNG KONCHOK

"Eight years ago, in an unprecedented intellectual endeavor, the Dalai Lama invited Emory University to integrate modern science into the education of the thousands of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in exile in India. This project, the Emory Tibet Science Initiative, became the first major change in the monastic curriculum in six centuries. Eight years in, the results are transformative. The singular backdrop of teaching science to Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns offered provocative insights into how science and religion can work together to enrich each other, as well as to shed light on life and what it means to be a thinking, biological human." —Publisher's Note

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies (Recommended by: Brad Miller)